Swan’s Den: Students’ Union scheme offers up to £2,000 for budding entrepreneurs

The University of Lincoln Students’ Union are encouraging all budding entrepreneurs to put forward their ideas to a new project called The Swan’s Den, where a maximum of £2,000 is up for grabs.

Photo: Gregor Smith/Liam O'Dell

The University of Lincoln’s Students’ Union’s new scheme, Swan’s Den, sees budding entrepreneurs given up to £2,000 to launch a business – if they can impress a panel of judges. Photo: Gregor Smith/Liam O’Dell

Modelled like the TV show, Dragons’ Den, this new initiative aims to find a great new product or service, invented by students at the university.

The scheme is in collaboration with the University of Lincoln, and aims to find “the next big thing on campus”.

In an article on their website, the Students’ Union said: “We’re looking for talented individuals who can handle the heat, to pitch their idea to a panel of experts with the hopes being awarded their requested amount of cash towards funding their business.”

Students who have an idea for a product or service can fill out an application form to enter the competition, and a select few of applicants will be chosen to pitch their idea to a panel of experts.

The pitch should give the panel enough information so they can consider the idea. This means stating the product or service’s name, purpose and target market – as well as the cost to produce and sell.

Sammi Storey, president of the Students’ Union, said: “Students are free to submit any idea for a business as long as they can present a good business case for them.

“There are no restrictions, although ideas that promote social enterprise are encouraged.”

After the pitch, the winning idea will be awarded up to £2,000 funding and the winners will be assigned a business professional to help make their initial idea a reality.

When asked where the £15,000 funding for the programme comes from, Sammi said: “The university has very kindly donated money to the Students’ Union to encourage entrepreneurship.

“The judges will confer over the pitch and, should they be successful, they’ll be awarded the money pitched for.”

The deadline for applications is November 21, and those who are successful in applying will be entered into the first round of pitches on December 9.

For those interested, application forms can be found on the SU website, along with helpful tips and information to consider in your application.

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